Steve Bruce spoke to the press for the first time in two weeks earlier today, giving us a much needed update on the Covid outbreak that’s decimated our squad ahead of tomorrow’s clash with West Brom.
Although he admitted that a “big chunk” of his squad will be missing and that fatigue has left some too tired to train, there are still several positives to take from his pre-match presser.
After watching his chat with the media in full on NUFC TV, here’s a few promising lines I picked up on:
“A couple of the injured players are back.
Several may be missing due to Covid-19 protocols, but it’s good to hear that a few recent absentees could be ready to return. Saint-Maximin, Fraser, Gayle and Lascelles come to mind after all four were ruled out at Palace through injury…
“We have two or three players that have come back into the squad who have had it and tested negative.
Bruce stated before the win at Palace that ‘two or three’ would be missing after that initial Covid scare. Based on his comments above, that trio have finished their period in self-isolation and will be ready to return – and one of those is believed to be Isaac Hayden.
“We hope we’ve curtailed it – it certainly looks that way.
“As of Monday, we will have a few coming back that will help us.“
Last but not least, these quotes above suggest the outbreak is finally under control and that he’ll welcome back several more in time for next Wednesday’s tough-looking trip to Leeds.
Considering how high-energy Bielsa’s side are, it will be a big boost to have a few fresh legs and key men back in contention – especially when we have FIVE games to play between now and Boxing Day.